Attributed to Glen Boggini and David Boggini – Founders of Harbor Hemp Company.
Can you share with us the story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Our grandfather started Harbor Hemp’s parent company in 1936 and since then we have been in the business of processing essential oils and botanical extracts for the beverage industry.
For us, leveraging generations of knowledge and experience into the CBD industry was a natural fit. From sourcing superior ingredients to creating our proprietary water-soluble nanoemulsions, there many synergies that allowed us to ramp up quickly and get product to market.
And, coming from the beverage industry, we were already well-versed in safety protocols and regulatory and apply these practices daily in our cGMP certified and licensed facility.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?
About a year after we launched Harbor Hemp we were faced with the COVID-19 pandemic. As a family run, local company, it was our priority to keep our team working, but we also wanted to find a way to help our community.
We quickly shifted our production efforts to manufacture hand sanitizer in our Connecticut facility – distributing thousands of bottles to first responders and healthcare professionals across New England. The hand sanitizer line has since been expanded and we now offer travel, countertop and refill sizes for purchase and ship out a free bottle with every CBD purchase.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Anytime you’re developing new products, there will always be mistakes along the way. One of the benefits of creating Harbor Hemp products in our in-house QC lab is that we have the opportunity for a lot of trial and error. We’re perfectionists, so we’re always heading “back to the lab” to get things just right.
Are you working on any exciting projects now?
Yes! We always have something exciting in the product development pipeline. Leveraging our beverage industry background, we recently launched a new CBD-infused Seltzer made with our proprietary water-soluble CBD nanoemulsion and we’ve got a new CBD-infused Lemonade coming to market soon. We’re always looking for new ways to meet our customers’ CBD needs so you never know what might be next!
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
The Cannabis community has been a great resource. Even though the CBD industry is still very new, the people in this business are very generous with their time and knowledge. Whether we’re visiting hemp farms in Colorado, Vermont or Oregon, meeting with processors, talking to third-party labs or attending hemp events, we’re always learning something new from our peers.
This industry is young dynamic and creative. Do you use any clever and innovative marketing strategies that you think large legacy companies should consider adopting?
Our overarching marketing strategy is very simple – be authentic. And as a New England company, we’re very focused on being great in New England. To create the Harbor Hemp brand, we tapped into our love of the New England lifestyle and created a strong look with a classic all-American feel that stands apart other CBD brands with packaging that is at home in even the most conservative retailers. We’re also leveraging strategic partnerships to expand our reach and have recently announced that we’re the Exclusive CBD partner of the New England PGA.
Can you share 3 things that most excite you about the Cannabis industry? Can you share 3 things that most concern you?
As a wellness brand, having the potential to help people is why we do what we do, but we’re also really excited about the future growth of the industry and being a part of history in the making.
While there is a lot being done to move the Cannabis industry forward, we’re frustrated that there are still so many unsafe products in the market, a lack of regulation and general consumer confusion.
Can you share your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started Leading a Cannabis Business”? Please share a story or example for each.
- There is lack of regulatory and compliance standards.
- The rules and players in this industry change every day.
- The supply chain can be very complicated.
- CBD advertising is highly regulated and you may not be able to use traditional platforms.
- Be prepared to pivot in the event of a global pandemic.
What advice would you give to other CEOs or founders to help their employees to thrive?
It’s important to have a company culture that is rooted in doing things the right way, every time. When your team is on board with your company’s way of doing business, and you allow them the space and flexibility to do their jobs, that’s when you’ll really see employees thrive.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
Creating safe products that customers can trust is our top priority as a CBD brand. Having industry-wide regulations and safety standards is the most important movement we’d like to see in this industry to better protect consumers and weed out the bad apples.
What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?